The ETI benchmarks countries on their energy system performance and their readiness for a fast and effective transition. Countries are scored along 40 indicators on a scale of 0 to 100. Countries scoring the global maximum on a given indicator are assigned a score of 10022 on that indicator.
Given the systemic and interdisciplinary nature of the energy transition challenge, country scores on different ETI indicators depend on factors such as natural resource endowments, geography and climate, population, the level of socio‑economic development and path dependencies of legacy energy systems. Moreover, country scores on some ETI indicators are determined by factors beyond the scope of national decision‑making, such as energy market volatilities, the emerging regulatory landscape in trading partners, global financial market sentiments and international climate change frameworks. Hence, no country scores 100 on the ETI.
The global average ETI score for 2020 is 55.1 out of 100. While this indicates the first year‑on‑year decline in the global average ETI score since 2015 with 55% of the countries registering declines, the medium‑term trends are positive. Figure 2 shows countries’ ETI score progression between 2015 and 2020, providing insights into the evolution of energy transition trajectories across the countries. More than 80% of the countries, representing 70% of the world population, have increased their ETI score over the past six years. Notably, progress among the world’s 10 largest energy consuming countries has been mixed. Emerging centres of demand such as China and India show strong improvement, while the trend has been moderately positive in Germany, Japan, the Russian Federation and South Korea. On the other hand, the ETI scores of Brazil, Canada, Iran and the United States were either stagnant or declining.23 Figure 3 shows G20 countries’ wide range of comparative performance on the ETI, while they consume 75% of the global total energy supply. This attests to the overall positive trajectory of the global energy transition, although progress is not smooth and pockets of underperformance exist.
The list of top 10 countries on the ETI 2020 remains similar to last year’s results, with Sweden leading the global ranking for the third consecutive year, followed by Switzerland and Finland. Among the world’s 10 largest economies, only the United Kingdom and France feature in the top 10. While the diversity among the top 10 countries in terms of pathway adopted for their energy transition is significant, they share common attributes, such as reducing the level of energy subsidies, enhancing energy security by reducing the reliance on imports, achieving gains in energy intensity of GDP, and increasing the level of political commitment by pursuing aggressive energy transition and climate change targets. However, the annual incremental gains achieved by the highest ranked countries appear to be plateauing. The average ETI score for countries in the top 10 percentile has been constant since 2015. Leading countries play a critical role in the global energy transition, by highlighting best practices that inform the development of roadmaps for other countries. This implies that incremental gains from the current set of policies and technologies might be limited, and the need for radical and breakthrough ideas is urgent.
Figure 2: Countries’ change in Energy Transition Index score, 2015‑2020
Source: World Economic Forum
Figure 3: G20 countries’ Energy Transition Index 2020 ranking and share of global total energy supply, 2017
Sources: World Economic Forum and IEA, World Energy Balances 2019
Figure 4: Global average Energy Transition Index and sub‑index scores, 2015‑2020
Source: World Economic Forum
On average, the ETI score improvement has been higher for energy importing countries than for fuel exporting countries, leading to a substantial increase in the gap between their average scores. A comparative analysis of these two groups (Figure 5) indicates that fuel exporting countries perform better on the energy sector’s contribution to economic development and growth, and comparably on energy access and security. Access to domestic reserves at affordable prices and the critical role of energy in the economic structure are contributing factors. However, fuel importing countries outperform them on the key parameters of environmental sustainability, political commitment to the energy transition, and access to capital for investment in new energy infrastructure. This is likely due to the additional pressure on energy importers to improve on energy security by prioritizing domestically available renewable sources of energy.
Figure 5: Average scores on Energy Transition Index dimensions for net energy importers and exporters, 2015‐2020
Source: World Economic Forum with energy import data from IEA, World Energy Balances 2019